Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Anyway, I get there early to try and squeeze juice from the walnuts. The walnuts being the other regulars all biding their time until the football game is over and the unhappy or happy drunks show up. Yes, they are a bunch of Martians (very rocky) for the most part like myself, so shown down hands are usually premium holdings vs. one another.
Why even bother to get there early? I like the Harrahs Football Box promotion where they give you a score and you have each quarter to hit for a prize. I don't think I've ever been a score away from winning but they still pull me in. It goes to show you timing is everything. They give out a few hundred to the winners of each quarter and you are eligible to enter just by sitting down to play poker. But, I can't get a sniff of the score with the big prizes, but at a Superbowl party of 12 I hit every f'ing box and walk away with a grand total of $40 or something like that. Granted I have 10 times as many chances but these things never seem to matchup.
It's the way my luck runs, at the World Series the cards were running over me like a MAC truck in the small Treasure Island tournaments I'd play, but in the satellites for the Main Event, I couldn't get two face cards at the same time to save my life much less a small pocket pair or even a suited connector. Why can't I get these rushes in the bigger events? Or at a critical time.
I always seem to go card dead and put an IV in my short stacks just to barely cash when I'm playing in a big event. Usually, the rare big hands I get, I have to push with because I'm so short and invariably somebody sucks out me. How many times can I lose with aces? Too many to count. Maybe if I weren't short stack losing with them wouldn't matter...
Of late, I've been a victim of a landmine more times then I care to think about in tournaments. I might have a medium stack or even a borderline big stack through grinding it out with nothing, then I'll have some idiot in middle position with a stack close to mine go all-in for a paltry pot of blinds and antes. Then in late position, I'll look down at Aces. Umm.... I call. Get ready for yet another runner-runner straight for the lunchbox who put all his chips at risk with a pair of threes when he didn't need to. It's great when they react like they made the right play. But what I am going do lay down Aces preflop as an 80% favorite--I don't think so.
Man, I whine a lot in these columns, but I'm reviewing these assorted bitchings of mine for a purpose. What wannabe players, like myself, do to encourage ourselves after jackass number 10 has sucked out with his terrible call, is say, "People suck out on us, because we always get our money in good, but we don't suck out on them because we'd never be that far behind." We know we aren't idiots (or so we think) and only the idiots put their tournament lives at risk with minimal holdings or say 'But I thought he was bluffing,' irregardless of the fact they'd need to get two cards exactly right to even beat a bluff. So we tell ourselves we aren't idiots so we'll never be in that position. Fair enough.
On to the hand. I'm playing with a guy, who is a little loose, so I've decided to target him a little bit to make some money before the drunkards come in and I can really get paid. He raises in early position, and I'm a little concerned but he's still got a wide range of hands to do that with. I'm on the button with K9 suited. Marginal but with him probably enough. I reraise to get an idea of where I'm at. He calls.
O.K. he clearly doesn't have a monster as he's popped back with high pocket pairs in that situation before. He likes to get his money in the pot when he's ahead and just end it. Flop comes KQ8 (2 clubs). He bets anew. I decide to test him again to see if it's a continuation bet and bump it one more time and make him pay if he's on a flush draw. He calls but doesn't like it. Not sure if he's acting or not.
Turn is a J of clubs. Then he goes, "Hey, man, I got a made hand do you want to just check it down." Whoa. I've played with this guy before but a long time ago, and I remember sitting next to him and talking with him. Had I befriended him and he thought he was doing me a favor when he's sitting on a monster by offering this? I pause. My head tells me this is clearly a sign of weakness. The con is clearly on, but it's so well timed.
Flush, straight, and trips all beat me. Did he just turn a set? Was he raising with 910 preflop? Is this reverse pyschology and he wants me to bet when he's sitting on a straight flush, that can't be, why would he risk not getting paid. BUT.... I just got a K with a middle kicker.
Yet, I'm sitting deep. I got plenty of chips, why wouldn't he want action. He's got to be scared so he's trying to avoid the hand. Clearly it's weakness on his part. My mind says "No," and bet into him and take down the pot there, he's probably on a draw. Still, I don't know him. I decide, "O.K." and check it down. He turns over two nonclub 10s and I scoop the pot after a meaningless river card.
So, his ploy worked. He chased his open ended straight draw for free and got out of the hand without paying too much. As for calling pocket 10s a made hand, well that kind of pissed me off and he'd suffer for that later.
It only takes a half-hour and it's a similar situation, he raises again from early position, gets a couple of callers and comes to me. I got pocket 8s. Okay. I'll play, the callers are all short stacked and I'm really hoping to hit an 8 and blast this guy. Flop comes 772 (two spades). Hit puts out an insignificant bet according to the size of the pot. The first caller comes over the top all in. Next guy folds and it's to me. The all-in is about double the pot. I see the villian loading up with chips, he's going to call. I figure I might be able to take him for a side pot. I don't love my 8s but as I analyze his hand, he's either got a monster or air.
At first I thought it was a braking bet, letting him chase his flush draw cheaply, but the guy that went all in, to me was the guy with the decent flush draw. That was his style push with redraws and hope to take down pots and if not, get lucky with two cards to come. They could both have flush draws but since I put the second guy on the nut flush draw, I didn't think the first guy could have it as I didn't think he'd raise with Kx suited under the gun... but I don't rule it out.
Therefore, the bet was either to get some action for the monsters like pocket 7s or 2s or the semi-monster pocket As. If he had Ks, Qs, Js, 10s or even 9s, he would have bet big to get all the Aces and stray cards that could beat him out of the hand. So what else, would he brake with? Ak, AQ, KQ or two other over cards. Yet KQ, KJ, or K10 are unlikely holdings. Maybe 6s to try and hit his set cheaply, or just take down the pot if he's ahead (course he's letting people draw inexpensively to hands that could beat him so that doesn't make too much sense either). Or really, when I thought about it, he could have a ton of different holdings and continuation bet like he always did to see where he was at. A paired board scares a lot of people, and it's unlikely anybody called his initial raise with a 7 or a 2.
Him not being phased by the all in troubled me. Yet, if he put the guy on a draw too, and I give him credit enough for that, he might be ahead with AK or something and be making the right call. My mental math told me it was more likely he had a non monster and I had a better than 50% chance that I was ahead. The flush chaser was giving me great pot odds to play the villain so I call.
The villian insta-raises it another 100 leaving himself ~23 behind. Huh?
The monster or semi-monster hand starts knocking on my cranium. Now he wants to get paid and is pushing it. Remember when I said I was pissed at the guy for putting one over on me with his "made hand?" Credit to him, because he added emotion to this pivotal decision for me. I should have folded here. He had one of those three hands, 7s, 2s, or As and more likely one of the first two. At a minimum I was dominated by two pair, with only two 8s to draw out on. Best case scenario I was looking at a full house with pocket twos, and I could draw to the two 8s or 7s and get a bigger full house. At worst case, he already had quads, and I'd have to go runner-runner 8.
Yet, part of me wanted to call in anger, and the emotion didn't want to believe what the mind was telling me, plus, the pot was swelling up. I looked at my own chip stack, and even if I called his 100 and the rest of what he still had behind I'd have plenty of chips to play with. So emotion won out and I called.
The turn was a 6. Yawn. Now, the con artist went to work. He went all in (another ~23 into a ~$500+ or something pot). I studied him. I knew at this point, I had to call but I wanted to see if he had the quad 7s, the one hand I couldn't beat and I'd save the 20 something dollars by avoiding it. So, as I like to do, I asked him a dumb question, "Do you have A6? Did you just make your boat."
That dumb question basically told him I had an overpair. I wanted some more information even though I was 99.9% sure I was calling. I got plenty of it as he turned over his pocket 2s. He was scared of my overpair and me sucking out on him. He knew I had four outs, but if he could convince me to get out of the hand, he wouldn't have to sweat the river. Then he says to me... "Look I have it, I'm not trying to get you back or anything for the earlier hand." Get me back? Dude saved himself a bet or two or having to fold a draw. Get back at me because his free draw didn't hit? What's he smoking?
Unfortunately for him, the two 2s was exactly what I was fishing for and exactly what I wanted to see. I was getting over 20 to 1 on my money. I now knew 8 of the 52 cards in the deck. That means I had a 1 in 11 chance of hitting my 4 outs to take the pot. (4 out of 44: either a 7 for 7s full of 8s, or an 8 for 8s full of 7s which would beat his holdings of either 7s full of 2s or 2s full of 7s) . Therefore, I'd win money in this situation if I make this call and just hit it every 1 in 19 times (20+ to 1 were the pots odds). As my odds were actually 1 in 11, statistically, I was getting about as close to great odds as you can get to hit a 4 outer.
As I was looking skyward doing the math again counting the preflop raise and calls, he went on his PR campaign. "Save your money."
I reply, "I think I'm getting the odds to call."
"Pot odds!?! What, I wouldn't call that if I had 500 to 1 odds. Save your money you are drawing to a two outer!" He screamed. His fear reinforced in my gut I was going to call but I was going to leave him in limbo on this huge pot and my potential suck out for a little longer. Maybe that was evil but he did call pocket 10s a "made hand." And as for correcting him about the outs I had, I guess he wasn't counting the 7s, it's not my job to educate people at a table. Funny thing is even if it were only two outs I actually was almost priced in exactly to draw to the two outer, plus, and let's not forget the pot was offering a better return on the $23 than I'd see all night.
I hemmed and hawed, with the chips in my hand, as though I was agonizing with my decision and this guy, doing everything short of calling me an idiot if I called, was going through torture. I would have called the 23 even if I wasn't priced in, just for this reaction. It was already money well spent. By the way, the other guy in the hand had gotten up and left after seeing the pocket twos so he was definitely on a semi-bluff at best.
Finally, and with one more evil twist, I throw the chips in and say, "You know what I just got a feeling it's going to come." As though my decision was purely nonrational. The dude turned red.
You know sometimes you are in pots and you just know that card is going to come. I didn't when I said just that to him, and I really only said it to piss him off, but when the dealer verified with surprise that I called, and then she started turning over the card I didn't sweat it all. Whether or not, it was because I was resigned to losing the pot and the 23 dollars because I knew I was making the right decision on the river (despite making a bad one on the flop), or whether it was because he was so infuriated for me making the call, or whether it was like that final ridiculous scene in Maverick when he knew the Ace of Spades was coming, I just had this calm feeling the outcome was going to go my way.
I didn't even get the rush a gambler gets when a 50 yard field goal is going to decide the game. It was like one of those rare moments under pressure in sports, where there is no pressure, you are in another zone, the free throw to decide the game is going in before it's shot, the penalty kick is already in the net before kicking it, or the beer pong ball is going in cup before it's lofted.
The crazy thing is the table was breaking and this was the last hand before we got moved elsewhere, so everybody stood to watch the final drama. And people standing and watching in a poker room draws a crowd. So others had been drawn in and come to see this guy basically beg me to not call and then heard me haphazardlly say, "I got a feeling." It was like the bubble with one guy all in in a multi-table tournament or the buzz the poker room gets when a table is one card away from a bad beat jackpot and everybody hurries over to privately hope it doesn't hit so the big number stays on the board. The dealer sensing the spectacle of course drew out the card slowly....
And Blamo! 8!
The crowd drawn to the table by this guy basically begging me not to call did that group inhale like they were all kicked in the stomachs at once. It only intensified his anger. The weird thing, I was in such a serene state I didn't get that gamblers rush, it was like it was supposed to happen because I made the right decision, so I just camly drew my chips in with no buzz 1 out of 11 times that happens.
He berated me. I stacked the chips into a rack to move to my new table, one ripe with drunk Titan fans, and said things like, "Yeah, I got lucky. Yeah, I shouldn't have called that on the river. I just had a feeling you know. I knew it was a mistake but I had to call." Really twisting the knife in.
The guy now floored (and felted) started in on this story, "I've only seen that once before in my life where somebody made such a bad call, I was in Vegas and flopped a set a Queens, turned a full house and this guy calls me after I showed him my hand, but he was getting like a 1000 to one on his money! This is ridiculous."
No doubt, I shouldn't have called his post flop reraise, but no doubt he wanted me to. And yes, though he wanted me not to call his 23, no doubt I had to. It wasn't a bad call. It would have been a horrible fold.
The dealer leaned into me and said, "I couldn't believe it when I dealt it, I got gooesebumps." I then remember I hadn't tipped her. I should have given her more, but I was listening to this dude's Vegas nightmare.
What's the point? I can suck out. I have sucked out and even good players have situations where the have to make terrible calls with little chance of winning and they sometimes do win. Not that one pot changes everything, but I do think it's important to recognize when the game does go in your favor. Sometimes, I am my opponent on this blog and telling everybody My VEGAS nightmare and sometimes I'm floored when somebody makes a terrible call (but maybe I'm not giving them enough credit... I know it took me too long to realize that "How could he not know I had aces, how could he call" was exactly the reason he called and him getting all my chips was his plan all along). So for my two loyal readers (hi mom, hi dad), I apologize for being that guy in the past and in the future.
Who doesn't review a tournament they did well in and forget all the races they won where their cards held up. Sometimes we focus on all the one outers that hit us and forget about maybe winning every coinflip one particular day. So, I guess next time I bitch and whine and moan please refer me to this post and tell me to STFU. One day, I'll run good in a huge MTT event and all the times I'm due for will come back and pay me off.
Suckouts do happen for good players too. And I for one will call a "made hand", even one shown to me, with one card to come.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Contract killers after Kevin Federline? Huh? What did he do piss off the hip-hop dance mafia? Or did his song really drive somebody to violence? If that's the case I'd be very careful if I were... Britney Spears.
And finally... Please vote to brand the baseball with an asterisk.
Speaking of massive growing alien heads...
Monday, September 17, 2007
We start off 11 handed and the table is playing pretty wild with everybody digging deep into the wallets for multiple rebuys. I like this, as my strategy is to sit and wait for premium hands and get paid off (I r smart). I start off like an idiot when I muck my leading hand after a guy folds to my post flop bet, all the while another guy was still in the hand. The dealer tells me three times that she said, "Three people in the hand." Thank you sweetheart, let's move on. I'm not mad at you, let's move on. Got it. Yes, we all know I'm the idiot. Move on. Then I go card dead.
I look at A10 suited in mid to late position. A guy in early position 3x's it and 4 people call before me. I called and then one more guy called after me. Bam the flop is all hearts 764. Sweet.
First guy checks. Next guy raises. Fold. Call. Call. To me. Only the straight flush beats me. Hmmm. I decide to call and sweeten the pot a little bit, still two people left to make some sort of move. Next guy calls. Back to the preflop raiser who checked. He stews and the pushes all his chips into the now big community pot. O.k.
Next guy shrugs and moves all in. O.k. The next guy is relatively short stacked and throws his chips in. Getting better. Then the next guy pushes. I'm in the 1 seat, he's in the 11 and I see he's got the King high flush as he's holding his cards out probably thinking, "I can't fold a King high flush!" Alright.
Now with all this action, I really start to wonder if somebody has to have the straight flush, but I know it's not the 11 seat, and it's not the preflop raiser unless he got incredibly lucky to raise with 85 or 53 suited. So that's only two guys that can have it but they would have had to have called a preflop raise from early position with very marginal holdings. Since I'm already getting crazy pot odds and it's a rebuy event, I don't stew too much, but I'm o.k. with the thought pause as the Hollywooding might help with the one guy after me to act.
I push in, knowing I got a rebuy left if somebody has the cooler, but actually more focused on hoping the board doesn't pair and rewarding a set that got in there early. In fact, I'm telling the guy to my left that is exactly what's going to happen. Then after 3 minutes of thinking the last guy throws his chips in.
Unfortunately, not everyone turned their cards up. But the two guys I was most worried about start talking. The first says, "I know I'm not drawing dead. Or, I guess I could be." He's got to have the open ended straight flush draw. The guy to his left shows the 3 of hearts. "That's one of my outs." People demand to see the cards. The turn is a brick. Me and K high flush show our cards. First guy all in had top pair with Ace kicker (talk about stepping in something). The last guy, doesn't turn, and I'm expecting the set. The river brings another three and remarkably he mucks--nobody had a set. With six people in the hand only one card the 8 of hearts could beat me. Everybody else was drawing dead. I didn't think I had everybody covered but that was the table consensus and all those chips were swept to me. Literally it looked like a craps table in the midst of a 45 minute roll with chips on every number. I don't think the dealer knew where to begin.
Crazier still, two hands later, despite getting crazy odds with five people in the hand and me holding 79 offsuit I don't call the raise and I'm in the small blind, no less (yes, I'm a donald key) because I'm still more interested in stacking and sorting my chips that are eating up a 1/4 of the table even though I had that feeling in my stomach right before the flop. Then after a flop of 799 the first guy goes all in, the next guy goes all in, and the next guy went all in. And two of those guys actually had the other two big stacks at the table. And yes, my 79 had them crushed of course, with two flush draws and an open ended straight draw.
As luck has it's way of evening out, or me getting punished for not mixing it up with 79 instead of stacking my chips, I got knocked out much later when in the space of three hands, I lost to a two outer on the river, and then a three outer on the turn.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
On the other side of the coin, I'm a proud uncle again as my brother had his second child last week. Congrats to him and his wife Miki. We are all very excited to have a new addition to the family. She was 9 pounds and 20 some odd inches.
While all that was going on, my sister's contractor walked out on her (2nd time a guy has done that). This time she needed receipts to get to her insurance company by it's deadline for reimbursement. After saying he'd faxed them/bring them etc. the dude just disappears at the absolute date. So obviously the 2K shortfall she faces for "materials" probably never were expenses anyway. The dude being exposed as a fraud is to embarrassed to answer his phone. Typical. So, because there are deadlines work has to be done to still get paid for Katrina my dad has driven down and me and him are trying our best to help out with the house without harming it too much.
The hits kept coming as my sister had to take her best friend to the hospital. It turned out to be a bad case of vertigo, but it's never good when people are passing out and are out of it, especially if their husband is away and they are alone with their young child.
Meanwhile... I had to log 50 hours of live play in Biloxi last week to be eligible for the 25k freeroll the Imperial Palace was hosting Sunday. AND at the same time play some tourneys at the Beau to make some money. To say time was at premium is an understatement especially considering it's about 1 hour and 45 minutes trip, so 3:30 round trip to and from New Orleans. Of course right in the middle of this firestorm of crap the fantasy draft I was the commissioner of fell apart. Not sure if it was a mistake on my part or not, but it was set to draft for two players who weren't in the league. I probably wasn't very nice to all the people bitching and whining about the draft but I was running on little sleep and high stress. Really, at that point the last thing I cared about was the fact the IT guys at CBSsportsline had to clean up my mess and the players in my league were inconvienced one night.
So anyway, enough whining from me. On to the poker...
Good couple of weeks. I chopped a tourney at the IP. I split a $125 sit 'n go for a $500 chip. I lost a heads up battle when I was an 8 to 1 favorite in chips for another $500 plus cash (course it was always the river that gave the guy the two outer as I kept getting my money in good and losing). I finished 7th in the IP tourney that the whole GCP den played in. I also had solid wins in cash sessions. On many of them I went down a couple of buy-ins and had to grind it back to the plus side. All the while I was putting in my 50 hours.
They had a sign in sheet and a sign out sheet and I felt like I was back in the real world on the clock. I did most of it in three days (of course that was right when all the shiznit with my mom and fantasy draft and my sister's contractor was going down) and played for hours and hours. I saw everything. Lost to straight flushes and quad 8s, an idiot drunk guy goes runner-runner against my set of queens for a flush when he called with Ace high for about 800, and I FINALLY sucked out when my pocket kings got another one on the turn to beat my opponents set of 7s.
But... let's get to the capper. Sunday 45 people qualifed for the freeroll by playing the requisite 50 hours at the IP last week. I of course get short stacked quickly with second best hands and lose 2/3rds of my starting chips (3k). Now, I'm just playing like a Martian and have only one move in my arsenal all in. I keep winning the pot or two around to stay in the tournament.
Turns out they pay 15, so 1 in the 3 will win at least 500, but these things usually chop and the sentiment at the tables was they were going to do that. Which actually means quite a bit more cash. I had to stay alive. Continued to be card dead but buying the right pots when there was weakness. After the second break I still had not gotten over the 3k I started with. A couple of times I thought about pushing but didn't. I would have lost each time.
Finally, my patience was rewarded as I got my run of cards and after getting down to but 500 in chips, I went on a run. 5 minutes later we are at the bubble and I'm second in chips. Knowing everybody wants to chop I throw away pocket jacks (to an unopened pot) and just sit on my stack. My strategy was twofold. I was in no danger of going out and wasn't going to put myself in danger by calling down players preflop. I was guaranteed money but also, just in case somebody (like me) didn't want to chop I wanted to enter the money play with a healthy enough stack to outplay everybody.
After some mindnumbingly dumb bubble play by the inexperienced but old players we were down to the 15. Two tiny stacks were at the other table with 300 and 500 chips each (antes were 100 and they were both about to go through the 500 and 1000 blinds). Nobody wanted to f them over and chop after they were gone so they got incredibly lucky. All 14 other players wanted to chop. Rather than make 14 enemies I kept my mouth shut. I figure I'll play another 30 or 40 tournaments with those guys and they'd owe me one. So I finished the week on a high note.
Tomorrow, I head to Tunica for a meeting about the site. Digging out my suit right now. Also, putting some insulation up in my sister's house today. So no res for he weary.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Still when I get a chance I'll talk about Aces negatively affecting me in three separate ways. The maxim anybody can play aces doesn't apply to me apparently. I'll get to that though when I get a chance. Trying to get some photos online for now.